Desert Bighorn sheep are getting a nursery in Utah

Nov 30, 2021, 12:34 PM | Updated: 12:36 pm

Bighorn Sheep Photo: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources...

Bighorn Sheep Photo: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

DUCHESNE — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is opening its first ever nursery devoted to the desert Bighorn sheep.

First ever Bighorn sheep nursery

DWR is teaming up with Young Living, a Utah based essential oils company.  Young Living is donating 1800 acres of private land in Duchesne County for the nursery. The 1800 acres at the SkyRider Wilderness Ranch will be a safe home for many Bighorns. 

Bighorn Sheep Photo: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

There’s been a nursery herd of Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep on Antelope Island for several years. But, this will be the first designated nursery area for desert Bighorns in Utah.

SkyRider Ranch Bighorn Sheep Nursery Photo: Young Living

In a statement, Riley Peck, the DWR Once-In-A-Lifetime Species Coordinator, said “this fenced area will provide a place for our herds to safely grow.”

“Whenever we have a need to supplement or create new populations in the state, we will have our own internal Bighorn sheep population and can be self sufficient in maintaining healthy herds.” Peck added.

Why a nursery is needed

Several of Utah’s Bighorn sheep populations were decimated by disease.  A report on the status of the animals was released in 2018 by the DWR also shows domestic sheep grazing and human activity is dwindling the population of some groups of Bighorn sheep around the state.

SkyRider Ranch Photo: Young Living

Peck said having the ranch will allow animals to be relocated to other parts of Utah to supplement those populations that are in decline, or to start new herds altogether.

Bighorn Lamb Photo: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The original 150 desert Bighorn sheep are coming from Nevada. Peck thanked both the Silver State and Young Living for their generosity.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Outdoors + Recreation

bald eagle...

Curt Gresseth

Who shot, killed bald eagle near Cedar City? $10,000 reward available

A $10,000 reward is available for information leading to the conviction of the perpetrator who shot and killed a protected bald eagle near Cedar City.

10 hours ago

A rattlesnake coils up in a rock crevice in San Juan County on Monday, April 26, 2021....

Mariah Maynes

Remaining safe while recreating near rattlesnakes

As temperatures begin to warm, rattlesnakes emerge from their dens. People are also heading outside for activities such as hiking and climbing, increasing the chances of encounters. 

3 days ago

fans cheer at delta center during slc ncaa tournament...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

Local Utah businesses got a boost from RV drivers in March

RV drivers stopping in Utah used a membership company called Harvest Hosts to camp out at local businesses rather than at campsites.

3 days ago

MAZATLAN, MEXICO - APRIL 08: The sun disappears behind the moon during the Great North American Ecl...

MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer

Total solar eclipse wows North America. Clouds part just in time for most

Cloud cover spoiled the view in New York state, but in Texas and elsewhere the skies cleared with minutes to spare as the moon passed in front of the sun and blocked the sunlight for a few minutes.

4 days ago

Hovenweep National Monument. Photo courtesy of National Park Service....

Heather Peterson

National Park Service being sued for switching to cashless entry

The National Park Service is being sued for going cashless at 30 national parks and monuments.

5 days ago

a woman does yard work outside...

Michelle Lee

Avoid injuries with these yard work safety tips

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with USU Extension Assistant Professor Gabriela Murza to learn some of her yard work safety tips.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Live Nation Concerts

Artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Desert Bighorn sheep are getting a nursery in Utah